Saturday, May 08, 2010

Return of the Man who Had Everything

Many years back I had decided I would actually visit the man who had almost everything. I was going to find him in his home and check out his collection in its entirety. To that end I brought with me ten of my rarest private pressings, total cost, 2000 dollars plus, to trade with him and entice him to meet. I knew which city he lived in, and through extensive contact with European collectors I had a rough idea of his whereabouts. I emailed him with my offer and the agreement was to meet in a local coffee shop the next day. After the flight over I was so excited I staked out the place from early in the morning and waited, getting hyper with excess coffee. Part of my plan was to offer him a large amount of cash to digitally copy some of his extensive holdings. This way I would take a shortcut to enjoying all those progressive rarities out there that I would never otherwise know. Five minutes after our meeting time I began shaking, I knew that statistically the more time goes by the more unlikely an appearance would be. By half an hour I had ordered a beer to calm myself down, by an hour I was pretty sure there was to be no contact... I left only by evening time to the annoyance of the waiters but seeing my tragic face they knew to leave me alone.

I was passionate about obscure prog and for years had studied the subject, record collectors dream, scented gardens, and crack in the cosmic egg... Starting years and years back I had amassed quite an impressive collection myself, but I knew it was nothing, nothing like the man who had almost everything. He was legendary, I had heard that this man owned more records and obscurities than anyone else in the world, in fact he was set on the ambition of owning every gem. Time was running out, day by day his collection was getting larger. Far-flung longstanding collectors from Tasmania, from Germany, were starting to be interested on hearing about his extensive possessions. He was very discrete, almost hidden, few knew as well as I did what riches this man had. But my cargo which included the rarest, more expensive German private pressings would soon be worthless to him. In the hopes of prolonging my stay I took a job teaching English to the locals while continuing to offer trades to him.

Weeks went by, I tracked his purchases on ebay and online and narrowed down where I might find him. But he was elusive, self-effacing, and it was impossible to identify him in person. I worked harder and harder to finance my purchases but it always seemed he was a step ahead of me. In fact by then my "Charles and morgan homework 1973" was no more than a burden, so I sold it for Anahata - Aire 1979 which I knew he needed (it cost me a fortune). Suddenly, he was quite eager to trade and again a meeting was arranged. As I sped there in a taxi-- urging the driver on through the boulevard, horror of horrors-- he struck a small child and injured him! I was mortified-- in a dismal mixture of guilt over the accident and shame at the idea that this injured human would delay my encounter!! but I couldn't run away-- I stayed with the mother until the child was fully attended to by the ambulance... by that time, making my way to the cafe, it was 2 hours later.... there was no hope of knowing if the man had shown up-- the cafe staff were unhelpful. No, they hadn't seen a man listening to music. But had they really paid attention?

Months went by, and I followed his activities. Work was plentiful and I became absorbed in it. A beautiful student began to show interest in me but I spurned her for my obsession, tracking the man, trying to meet with him. She gave up on me with the idea that I was more interested in him than her. It was the saddest day of my life when she abandoned me.

As the years passed, and I grew older and frail, I watched as his collection grew and grew. I had trouble keeping up, I knew I was falling far behind him, my energy was less. I was missing work now and was in danger of being fired. But I was dying of desire to hear all the heavenly treasures that existed out there that I would never know. I invested in one last huge purchase and contacted him again. I brought it, as if a supplicant to the court of a king, for a last pleading of redemption-- as if I had been excommunicated by the pope and was coming barefoot for forgiveness. It was my last chance, by then, I was broke and friendless in an alien country. Then, one day, weeks later, he offered to meet with me. As I waited in anginal trepidation, an hour later there was a message to my laptop: the meeting was cancelled-- the man now had everything, every last album; there was no longer any point for him to show up. My mission was a failure, the years I had spent there wasted. I had given up everything for a dream, a dream that had vanished in the light of that day. It was impossible to escape the profound despair of knowing my whole life had been utterly useless. I cried and begged him but there was no answer from the man who had everything. Far away in his distant empire of records, he must have been laughing at me. When I finally got home, I collapsed into tears and prayed for death...

Heavy Rider...

14 comments:

Tristan Stefan said...

http://sharebee.com/b8b83ef8

Anonymous said...

thanks to romy for the rip

Anonymous said...

Tristan, very interesting story!
And thank you for this über-rarity.

Max

Rebel said...

Hi Tristan

nice post, thanks for your excellent blog. A real source of joy!
take care nd enjoy! Carlos

Anonymous said...

Chris? Hello Chris!! welcome back my friend!
Paul

Anonymous said...

Hi, Tristan...

You almost killed a child just to meet the man who had almost everything.
Im sending message to Moroni... thanking him about avoiding to meet you.
Nahvanda, you.... such a "great" and quite "human being", what do you have to say about this post, eh?
I supose you are so happy... Tristan looks so terrorist as you are. Congratulations.

Tristan Stefan said...

I believe in answering all comments in full with complete honesty-- So first off, to Romy, Chris, Viz, Paul, moroni, I have no idea who you people are, it appears this is a case of mistaken identity I am not-- I repeat, I AM NOT David Hasselhoff. I am tristan stefan, and I'm in the sloganeering business. Basically we mass produce Sayings professionally written to help people's days go by faster, with several international offices, we are ISO 9001 rated and MISO 4.99 rated. We are listed in the Azerbaijani stock exchange (APLUS-SEX on CNN tickertape) with profits last year well in excess of 10 million.
To the man who has everything: I and my company are prepared to offer you a large amount of money in exchange for access to your collection, of course, we will use unmarked bills, and we will NOT contact interpol, I promise. If you prefer we can wire money directly to a Belize bank account - no questions asked. Where the heck are you?
Alternatively we can offer american dollars in a large black suitcase which will fly out of our hands at the last minute and spill out everywhere causing a riot as people grab at the one dollar bills.

DanP said...

:D :D :D laughing off my derriere...

Oracus said...

Hehe nice story! Le'ts hear the music! Thanks for sharing!

Tristan Stefan said...

to anon: why do I look "so terrorist?" just because of my mustache?
Besides, the "kid" was OK, he survived-- I have the "hospital records" to prove it! It was a very "rainy" day, and the taxi driver "forgot" his glasses-- turns out it was Bronson Pinchot you guys remember him as Balki from hit sitcom "Perfect Strangers"

Tristan Stefan said...

FYI I went back to that country years later to see if the beautiful student was still interested in me-- turns out she had been scouted by howie mandel and was now a model on his show "deal or no deal"! She wasn't interested in me anymore, but she was able to carry my suitcase back to the airport really well

steve krypton said...

INCREDIBLE! ABSOLUTLY CRAZY !!

Dairos777azz said...

I think, only from 70s-80s, there are so many of these unrealeased test-pressing, mastertapes, demos and so on that is almost impossible to have everything. For example unreleased stuff of US 70s band Elfhouse or the 2nd Quill's mastertape are again out of hand for anyone.

That Moroni mentioned by the anonymous is without any doubt the italian collector Mauro Moroni, together with Ciro Perrino (Il Sistema, Celeste) owner of label Mellow Records, perhaps now defunct.

Ricsi said...

Hello Tristan. Can you please contact me by mail?:
RicsiBelan@gmail.com

Maybe i will be able to help you with that man.
I know 3 people who have everything. One of them is bigger collector the these two from Mellow Records


Rick

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